Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Sailor's Santa!

Well, it seems like just yesterday when I wrote last year's Christmas wish list!  The past few years have seen our list change from the typical landlubber "wants" to a list of everything cruising.  Ken and I got a few cool gifts last year, and we're always finding new gift ideas.  There are so many cool things these days.  Here are a few more items we've added this year that may be perfect for someone you know:

For us, cruising is more about travel than sailing.  We envision exploring some of the islands, and perhaps camping every now and then while leaving Nirvana in a safe place.  This means we'll need a tent, and it will have to be small enough to carry in a backpack.  This Slumberjack 2 person trail tent sounds like an option.

We'll also need a waterproof backpack, and this SailorBag backpack is on our list.  We already have a large tote and a duffel bag from SailorBags, which we love.  Their products are high quality, and the sailbag fabric is great!  We have the white bags with blue trim ... really nice looking.

All that hiking will mean we'll need something to keep our water (or beer) cold. This 64 oz insulated stainless steel wide mouth water bottle and beer growler sounds good, and it has great reviews.  The vacuum insulation is supposed to keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours, without sweating!  It comes with a lifetime warranty.

For those rainy days or lazy nights on Nirvana, we want a way to watch movies off of our external hard drive (one of last year's gifts) onto our 19" 12v tv (on last year's list but still waiting).  I recently discovered Roku (where have I been?!), and this would be a great way to accomplish this.  We have our eye on the Roku 3 version, which comes with a USB port and microSD slot.  It also has a motion control remote for games, and includes Angry Birds to get started.  This means we could also have video games onboard, and when we have WiFi we could tap into a ton of free channels with the Roku.  Since we're still landlubbers (for now) this would also allow us to "cut the cord" and get rid of cable.  We're looking into this, as we'd probably save about $60 per month!  We'd give up local news and football, but the purchase of an antenna for less than $50 would solve that problem.

Speaking of WiFi, we'd also like The Wirie.  It's a marine WiFi and it was created by cruisers.  We've heard a lot of good things about this product, so it's on our list too.  I'm not gonna get technical about this because I don't know how this stuff works, but it does.

How about giving the gift of free movies and music?  Here's some great gift  ideas, even for yourself!  In fact, if you order one of these products you can pay an extra $10 for CDs that can be given as gifts. For music, we've purchased software to record music from the internet (Spotify), and even YouTube videos.  It's perfectly legal, and we still buy music every now and then to support our favorite artists.  We purchased Replay Music a couple of years ago and love it!  We even have an ad for this on our side bar if you need to find this product later.  It's easy to use and even better yet ... we don't have to use iTunes.  We had a lot of problems with iTunes and found a great (free) media player called WinAmp.  It can sync to our iPod and many other devices.  For movies, we'll be purchasing the Replay Media Catcher this month which will download movies, YouTube videos and all sorts of media.  These files will be a great addition to our external hard drive.  If we didn't already have Replay Music, we'd be ordering the Replay Capture Suite, which includes both of the above products and several others.  FYI ... we store our media files on a free cloud drive, SkyDrive.  SkyDrive provides 7GB of storage, and when we need more we'll just have Ken sign up with his email address.  *UPDATE:  GET 50% OFF!  This offer is only for our readers, and it's good from Friday, Dec. 13th - Sunday, Dec. 15th only.  Just use code MIDLC-50 when ordering ... this is a great deal!

Books are another great form of entertainment, and I listed several good ones in my past Christmas lists.  Income is always a necessity, so this year I'm recommending a non-fiction book that I've already purchased and read ... "Live On The Margin".  This book was written by two "slackers" ... they're traveling with their families and enjoying life by living a frugal lifestyle and supporting themselves with online trading.  You may be familiar with one of the authors ... Patrick Schulte, a current cruiser known for his "Bumfuzzle" blog.  This book is not only entertaining, but it teaches the average person the basics of trading and how to make an income from only a few hours a week on the computer.  I knew nothing about trading before I read this book, and I'm excited about putting what I've learned into action once we sell our house, we clear our minds, and we have a little money.  Ken's looking forward to reading this book too.  You can read more about the book, my review and how to order for Kindle, Nook or paperback here.  I will say that I ordered a copy for my Nook, and then ordered the hardback because this is a book that we'll be referring to often until we get the hang of things.  I'm glad to have both versions handy.

For those sunny days, we want toys!  An inflatable kayak or SUP on Nirvana would be great for exercise and exploring.  This Tower Brand inflatable SUP with pump and paddle was recommended by Carolyn of The Boat Galley (that cookbook was on last year's list .. love it).  Sounds like just what we need ... something that can be deflated and easily stored, yet is solid and durable when inflated. The price seems pretty good too.  I recently read an article about some new products for SUPs, like a light that can be attached to the bottom of the board for night paddling.  That would be cool too!

Toys and various items need to be stored somewhere, and this Platypus expandable roof top bag sounds like a good solution.  Tammy from S/V Dos Libras recommends these bags ... she has two!  Since we don't have much storage space inside of our 30 footer, this would be great for storage on deck.

I could go on and on with cool gift ideas.  I think the above items are great gifts for both cruisers and landlubbers, and you'll notice that none of them are very expensive.  Even more ideas are listed on my previous posts ... 2012 and 2011.

I want to mention that most of the links in this post will take you to Amazon.  They not only have great prices and quick shipping, but they've provided me with excellent customer service over the years.  Just today I needed to speak with them about a gift that I purchased, so I logged into my account, typed in my phone number (they call you) and my phone started ringing immediately ... amazing!  I have never had any complaints.  Anyway, we will make a very SMALL amount of money from Amazon if you purchase through our site.  Please consider doing so, as you'll be giving Ken and I a gift, without spending any extra!  Don't need the items I'm showing?  Just click on any of these items and then begin shopping, or notice the little black box on the right of our site that says "Amazon" ... just click on that.  Oh, and we also have an ad on the side for Amazon Prime, which includes free movies and free shipping.  Shop from here and you'll have more time to do other things and avoid the malls.  Hope you don't mind our ads, but Ken's threatening to make me start tap dancing on Bourbon Street!

 Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Sandee said...

Do the ads because it's better than having to tap dance. I agree with you.

Love the graphic. Looks so warm and inviting.

Have a terrific day. ♥♥♥

Emily said...

Great list! I actually added a couple of them to my wish list as well. I wish we'd had that inflatable SUP in Belize -- it would have been perfect there as the shoreline of the island has no wave action due to the offshore reef.

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